|Friday, February 15, 2013|
|Shred Your Files at MSD on Earth Day|
When: Monday, April 22, 2013
Time: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Muncie Sanitation Department
811 E. Centennial Ave.
Muncie, IN 47303
What: Our annual Shred Your Files Day. Join us at our Sanitation department to celebrate Earth Day, and to dispose of your files safely and free of charge. Services are provided by Records Pro and certification of destruction will also be provided.
Limit: 50 boxes per person/company
|Friday, December 21, 2012|
|Christmas Tree Recycling 2012|
The Muncie Sanitary District in conjunction with the Muncie Parks Department will be accepting Christmas trees again this year, to be recycled. You can drop off your Christmas trees at the following locations: Heekin Park, Westside Park and McCulloch Park. The trees can be dropped off within the orange fencing, at these parks, beginning December 26th thru January 14th. After January 14th the Parks Department will no longer be collecting the trees. Please make sure to remove all ornaments, lights and/or stands from the trees. If you would like to recycle any of these mentioned items they can be dropped off at East Central Recycling located at 701 E. Centennial Avenue. Please do NOT place ornaments, lights and/or stands in blue recycling bags.
Also, the Muncie Sanitary District will again be collecting used Christmas and all occasion cards during the month of January to be recycled with St. Jude’s Ranch for Children. To participate drop your cards off at any Muncie Fire Station or the Sanitary District Administration Office in City Hall.
|Wednesday, November 28, 2012|
|Canned Food Drive to Support Muncie Mission|
Muncie Mall will be host to a canned food drive to support the growing needs of Muncie Mission. Any food item donations can be made at our Guest Services Booth at Center Court or the Management Offices near Sear's. Please join us as we try to meet a great need in our own community!
Dates of drive: November 27, 2012 through December 9, 2012.
Please call the Muncie Mall Management Offices with any questions: 765-282-1276.
Please visit the Muncie Mission website to find more information about all their charitable work: http://www.munciemission.org/
Locally sponsored by: Muncie Sanitary District
Check out the Facebook event to get all the updates!
|Wednesday, January 25, 2012|
|Have you seen this iPhone case? Made from trash.|
Looking for an eco-friendly case for your iPhone 4S? Check out the innovative Re-Case from Miniwiz, a carrier that uses trash and agricultural by-products to protect your phone in style.
The company combines by-products from the rice farming industry with post-consumer thermoplastics – including plastic bottles and bottle caps – to form its POLLIBER™ material, which is used for the Re-Case along with other products like the Re-Wine wine case and Polli-Brick™ building materials.
Read more about the case on earth911.com...
|Tuesday, January 3, 2012|
|12 Things You Must Do in 2012|
1. Replace single-use batteries in your camera with rechargeables
Over the holidays, you may have noticed that your camera eats up battery life faster than Takeru Kobayashi chows down 10 hot dogs. You can save a lot of energy (and money) by making the switch to rechargeable batteries. Sure, the upfront cost will be higher, but it will pay for itself in just three photo-worthy events.
2. Make the switch to CFLs or LEDs already
While the actual details of the "light bulb ban" are still up in the air, there's no question that switching out your incandescent light bulb for a CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) or the even more efficient LED (light-emitting diode) will save energy and a ton of money for you in the long run. Incandescents turn just 2-10 percent of the energy they use into useful light, releasing the rest as waste heat. However, a CFL will save about $30 over its lifetime; pays for itself in about 6 months and lasts about 10 times longer than an incandescent. Seventy-four percent of Americans have already made the switch, so go ahead and jump on the bandwagon.
Read the rest at Earth911.com
|Thursday, November 3, 2011|
|Triad Collects 13,572 Pounds of Unwanted Waste|
|Since Fall 2005, Triad has collected 13,572 pounds of unwanted waste in
Delaware County. They have major collections twice a year, one in the
fall and one in the spring.|
|Thursday, October 13, 2011|
|Solar Light Bottles|
|Friday, September 16, 2011|
|Unwanted Household Medicines and Sharps Collection at Marsh|
|Wednesday, July 6, 2011|
|Triad Drug Drop Destroys 1253 lbs of Drugs|
At the latest Triad Drug Drop, on May 13th
, there were over 1253 lbs of drugs destroyed! For more information on upcoming events or locations you can drop off your expired prescription drugs please call 765-730-8043
|Friday, May 20, 2011|
Dart Container Corp. will recycle nearly every type of polystyrene foam brought to it — but a recent shipment from 20th Century Fox marks the first time the company has accepted foam from a movie studio.
“We want to get the word out that foam is recyclable,” said Michael Westerfield, corporate director of recycling programs at Dart. ”A lot of foam is used each year, and we’re guessing it is mostly disposed of. We want to raise awareness that it can be recycled, and it has value.”
Movie studios often build sets out of large blocks of foam, shaving and shaping the materials until they meet specification. On the set of the “X-men: First Class” film in Brunswick, Ga., the scrap foam was collected and sent to two Dart foam recycling facilities in Georgia and Florida.
The company received more than 7,500 pounds of foam from the X-men set.
“Seventy-five hundred pounds may not sound like a lot, but when you’re talking about foam, we’re talking about 7.5 semi loads,” Westerfield said.
The foam was densified, ground into beads and recycled. Some of the material was sold to Dart’s downstream clients, where it is made into picture frames, crown moldings and other products, and other material was reused to develop additional sets for the film.
Cheryl Schmidt, corporate administrative specialist of Dart’s Government Affairs and the Environment Department, said the company often gets material from industrial applications, including packaging from General Motors plants in Detroit. Recently, workers used foam ice chests to transport threatened sea turtles out of the Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Those chests, after they’d delivered their living cargo, were also sent on to Dart for recycling.
In addition to packaging foam, the company recycles clean food-service foam. Dart has set up a series of food service foam collection points across the United States, mostly near its 13 foam recycling plants. The company has also set up at least one foam recycling program with a school, Westerfield said.
A teacher in Westwood Elementary in Stockton, Calif., and her students devised a way to collect foam lunch trays from students so the foam trays could be recycled.
Student government representatives man a condiment table in the cafeteria and limit the amount of condiments students receive on their trays. Then, at the end of lunch, they oversee sorting at the trash bins. Students empty their trays into trash bins and use their napkins to wipe them off. A member of student government decides if the tray is clean enough for recycling or if it must be sent to the trash.
“We’ll accept anything that’s No. 6 foam,” Westerfield said, “except packaging peanuts. They are better reused rather than recycled.”
Dart Container Corp. manufactures foam food service products and recycles foam. The company is headquartered in Mason, Mich. For more information, visit www.dart.biz/recycle.
|Sunday, May 15, 2011|
|New Pepsi Bottles Will be Made Entirely from Vegetable Materials|
In what is clearly a new ploy to get kids to eat their vegetables,
Pepsi announced yesterday that they have developed a new type of bottle
made entirely from vegetable material.
Pepsi says that the new bottles look and feel exactly like the
current PET plastic ones, but that they are completely free from
petroleum based materials. The first test batch will be made using pine
bark (yummy!), corn husks, and that mysterious switch grass, but their
plan is to eventually use byproducts from some of their other brands
like orange peels, oat hulls, and potato scraps.
Pepsi's arch rival Coca Cola currently uses a 30% vegetable bottle, but recently said that a 100% veg container was still "several years" away.
Pepsi says that they expect to start using the veg bottle following an initial test run next year.
I wonder if you can eat the bottle after you're done getting your sugar rush?
|Tuesday, May 3, 2011|
|Recylebank Now Allowing Individuals to Join Program|
Recyclebank is now offering its rewards-for-recycling program to people not serviced by its curbside recycling partners.
“One of the things we’ve done is enable anyone in the country to join Recyclebank and not be tied to a curbside recycling program,” said Scott Lamb, chief operating officer at Recyclebank. “If you’re not associated with a curbside recycling program, you can still join and receive rewards for other green activities.”
This means virtual community members get rewards for viewing content related to recycling, entering promotion codes from product packaging and then promising to recycle the boxes, referring friends to join the online program, and other “green” activities, Lamb said.
“It is all in an effort to educate people about the right way to consume and recycle and how to have an impact on the environment,” Lamb said.
The changes have come about in a flurry of activity for the company, which initially partnered with local haulers to boost residential recycling. Residents loaded up smart-chipped recycling containers and wheeled them to the curb; haulers collected the recyclables, weighing the containers at the truck and then converting the weights to reward points for the residents. The residents then redeemed these points with Recyclebank for discounts on local and national products or services, or donated them to local schools.
Last year, Recyclebank teamed with Republic Services to expand its rewards program into a million more households. The company has a new CEO, Jonathan Hsu, who joined the company in October. Recyclebank’s former CEO and co-founder, Ron Gonen, stepped down from the top spot in June but retained his seat on the board of directors. In January, Recyclebank hired Javier Flaim as global marketing senior vice president, and in early February the company created a Sustainability Advisory Council and began identifying itself as “a sustainable action platform” in its press releases. Part of the new initiatives include the online expansion and integration with social networks.
“We’re trying to make it very social and grow our membership base so we can expand exponentially and not be tied to our core model of curbside recycling,” Lamb said.
The new website makes social engagement very important and also makes it easier for consumers to find local rewards partners, Lamb said.
“We’ve always been very local in terms of our rewards partners, but our previous website made it very difficult to segregate local partners from national partners,” he said.
The site is now searchable by ZIP code to make searching easier.
The online expansion doesn’t mean the curbside program has fallen by the wayside, Lamb said. The program will benefit from additional online revenue, he said.
“The digital and social acquisition strategy, things like that, will hopefully be able to monetize members that are participating in our program and turn those dollars back into our curbside program,” Lamb said. “We’ll continue to provide a curbside program at a very low cost to more and more cities and haulers. That’s really been a new shift for us, trying to get a large member base and then covert any monetization back into the curbside program, and to try to grow both at the same time.”
For more information, visit www.recyclebank.com.
|Friday, January 14, 2011|
|Styrofoam Recycling Program Providing Opportunity|
Indianapolis - The same Styrofoam that you threw out after Christmas could later be holding your favorite Christmas memory.
Styrofoam is typically viewed as a material
that has one life, but now it's finding a new purpose, along with the
people who are recycling it.
"It's awesome. It's recycling. It's taking it
from the landfill and we're just putting it into picture frames," said
Scott Parker, team leader. "We're looking for Styrofoam that has a 6 on
Crossroads Industrial Services, a division of
Easter Seals, gives people like Scott Parker and Jack Thompson a place
to earn a paycheck.
Once it's sorted out at a warehouse on the
city's east side, the Styrofoam goes into a big grinder where it's
broken up into little pieces. From there it's sent down a shoot into the
hopper, and then it's compressed.
"It just packs it into a brick," said Parker.
When it's all said and done, an entire
trailer full of Styrofoam will end up compressed into a palette. For
every 40 trucks that come in, one truck will go out full of material
that can be used again.
"After it's shredded compacted and
reprocessed. It's manufactured into these picture frames," said Curtiss
Quirin, chief operating officer.
While the crew is transforming the Styrofoam, the experience is transforming them.
"It gives people a chance to work. Especially
with people with disabilities who are not able to work," said Parker.
"I was hit by a car when I was three years old. It damaged the left side
of my brain. Before I had this job I thought I wasn't able to get a
job. Working here it gave me a lot of experience. It gave me the
opportunity to learn."
"It gives me a sense of independence. It keeps me going," said Jack Thompson.
This goes beyond recycling. This is renewal.
CROSSROADS INDUSTRIAL SERVICES: Tel: (317) 897-7320
Those interested in recycling Styrofoam should contact: CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, CURTISS QUIRIN: (317) 897-7320, EXT 4228
EASTER SEALS CROSSROADS
|Wednesday, January 5, 2011|
|New Uses for Old Things: Holiday Leftovers|
Tube Your Duds
Cardboard wrapping-paper tubes can help make you
look as good as your gifts. Keep pants crease-free by cutting a tube lengthwise and folding in
half horizontally. Next, place it over the rack or hanger before hanging pants,
being careful to tape the sides of the cardboard together at the bottom to keep
it from slipping. You can also stuff tubes inside boots to help them keep their
shape without flopping over.
Instead of splurging on expensive tags for gifts at stationery shops,
create your own tags from last year’s pile of holiday cards. Focus on
the front of the card to avoid this year’s greeting, then get creative
by cutting round, square and elongated shapes. Finish by punching a hole
in the corner and looping ribbon through so you can attach to a gift.
Fold in half and write your note.
Spice up Your Shower
Punch up a boring bathroom and reuse those pretty ribbons with
homemade shower hooks. Instead of the boring plastic or wire variety,
lace the ribbon through your curtain and tie in a knot to secure.
Complete the project by snipping off the ends at an angle.
Give your candle pillars a little personality after the holiday
season with a few miniature metal cookie cutters. Hold the candle steady
and use a hammer to lightly tap the metal shape into the front body of
the candle for a DIY monogramming effect. Spell words, stencil shapes,
or try a combination of both.
Set the Mood
Looking to set a serene mood for your DIY spa night, but having
trouble finding candle holders? Drop a votive tea light inside one of
your metal muffin or cupcake tins for an instant and fuss-free
candleholder. The best part? No cleanup necessary.
|3 Charities That Need Your Help|
For the past two months, Earth911 has been highlighting three amazing charities in its Spotlight on Giving
series. This New Year, make a resolution to inspire change in the world
by donating your materials, money or time to one (or all!) of these
While sifting through the remnants of this holiday season, a
life-changing donation is already in your closet – shoes. And chances
are, you’ve got at least one pair you can part with. Last year alone,
Americans discarded more than 300 million pairs of shoes.
Every seven seconds, Soles4Souls distributes a pair of shoes to
someone in need. Since 2005, the nonprofit has distributed more than 12
million pairs of new and gently worn shoes in more than 125 countries,
including the United States.
Founded by Wayne Elsey, former president of an international shoe
company, the initial idea for the organization stemmed from the image of
a lone shoe washing up on the Asian shoreline shortly after the
disastrous tsunami in 2004.
Inspired to make an impact, Elsey called on both colleagues and
competitors to donate shoes, resulting in a collection of more than
250,000 shoes that were donated to the region.
Since then, the organization has had a presence in major disasters
around the world, including hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the earthquake
in Haiti and, most recently, the record-breaking flood in its hometown
of Nashville, where the organization partnered with the NFL to donate
1,000 pairs of shoes to a local rescue mission.
“We’ve sent everything we had to suffering people. Thankfully, we
have the most amazing support network of individual heroes, and today,
we need them to engage their family and friends to clean out their
closets and help us respond to the needs of people around the world and
here in the U.S.,” said Soles4Souls CEO Wayne Elsey.
The organization receives its shoes through footwear brands (such as
Adidas or Red Wing), shoe stores (like Shoe Carnival or Finish Line) and
individuals and other nonprofit groups (schools and churches, for
example). Soles4Souls collects all types of shoes for donation.
Individuals or other groups also get involved by hosting shoe drives,
donating cash or sponsoring shoes for those in need.
World Computer Exchange
In 1999, Timothy Anderson was an eager grad student studying
education at Harvard, in search of an idea that would save the world.
With a growing interest in international issues, the environment and
developing countries, Anderson had the drive and the know-how, but he
needed the spark that linked together the different strands of his
“I kept reading these reports about funding [in developing countries]
for roofs, truck-boards, running water, you know, the basic things,”
Anderson says. “I thought about what I would need; what’s missing to
allow me to me and what I do? I just kept coming back to computers.”
After research, Anderson found that an organization that supplied
donated refurbished computers to other countries wasn’t really
established in the U.S. With a small group of volunteer board members
and a super-frugal virtual office setup, Anderson developed the World
Computer Exchange (WCE).
Eleven years later, with the help of more than 700 volunteers around
the world, the organization ships donated computers to 42 different
While out-of-date computers are often worthless here in the U.S.,
abroad, they can be the most valuable piece of equipment in a village or
town. Anderson says that, oftentimes, a school will have to build an
entire separate building outfitted with bars and other security measures
to protect their computers.
But security is just one aspect recipients have to fully understand
and commit to during the process. A large shipment of computer equipment
comes with a price. Refurbishing, preparing and shipping the computers
is a large financial burden for nonprofit WCE. While the organization
has volunteers across the world that assist with the process, the
recipient country is responsible for one-third of the cost, which
usually totals $50 to $75.
While Anderson says the monthly success stories are continual
inspiration that keeps the organization running, WCE is still a lean
operation with little funding. The charity heavily relies on help from
local volunteers and continual monetary and equipment donations.
“It has been so hard to raise money during these last couple of
years, and what has surprised me is just how difficult it got to be for
the developing countries as well. This downturn was global,” Anderson
says. “We’re as frugal as possible, so any money we get is used well.”
Besides monetary donations, WCE also accepts computer equipment from
individuals, groups and businesses. Individual donations can be mailed
to the Boston headquarters. For larger shipments, oftentimes, Anderson
will find local volunteers to arrange a pick up for the items.
But if you’re sans money or extra computers this holiday season, you can give your time.
“There are ways to get involved as a volunteer or a refurbisher,”
Anderson explains. “We work in a lot of different chapters across the
country, and we’re always looking for more volunteers. It’s a small
amount of time per week, but these volunteers are constantly solving
problems and helping us out.”
The health care industry is one of the single most polluting
industries in the country. According to Practice Green Health, American
hospitals generate approximately 6,600 tons of waste daily.
Combine that with the World Health Organization’s estimate that more
than 10 million children under the age of five die due to inadequate
In 1998, A.B. Short and Bob Freeman created MedShare to serve the
overlooked sector of excess supplies and the environment of the health
The organization partners with hospitals, clinics, medical
manufacturers and distributors to collect surplus supplies and
equipment. Medshare then sends these materials to underserved medical
facilities across the globe.
“The supplies and equipment that MedShare collects and redistributes
to needy healthcare facilities abroad are saved from landfills and
incinerators, and in 12 years of operations, we have saved over 1.2
million cubic feet of landfill space,” said spokesperson Kimberly
Twelve years later, the charity is still thriving. Most recently,
MedShare was named a 2010 Waste Reduction Awards Program (WRAP) winner
by the 2010 CalRecycle Waste Reduction Award Program.
Over the past year, the MedShare team has been diligent in its
continued efforts in post-quake Haiti. Just one day after the
earthquake, Short was on the ground in Haiti, working with victims to
assess the damage and supplies needed to remedy major injuries and
assist local clinics.
Since Jan. 12, 2010, MedShare has shipped 28 40-foot containers
filled with more than 168 tons of life-saving medical supplies and
equipment to needy hospitals in Haiti. The organization has supplied 83
medical mission teams with more than 14,000 pounds of medical supplies
for treating the sick and injured.
Now, Haiti faces yet another challenge: An outbreak of more than
103,300 cases of cholera have been reported in the country. MedShare
says donation and support is still needed as the country recovers.
While MedShare primarily works with health care organizations, anyone
can get involved by donation. Through MedShare’s Boxes of Hope
campaign, donors can pay to sponsor supply packages of crucial first aid
supplies, such as syringes, sterile gloves and gowns, labor and
delivery kits, biopsy kits and surgical kits. Supporters can sponsor a
minimum of two boxes for $40, up to a maximum of 1,000 boxes for
But if the bank account is low after this holiday season, there are
volunteer opportunities with MedShare in both its Atlanta and Northern
California facilities. Most volunteers are responsible for sorting
through medical equipment that will be shipping to other countries, but
the charity values all trades brought to the table, “whatever your
skills, we will put them to good use,” MedShare says.
|Dean Foods Sets Goals for Reducing Waste by 30%|
|Dec. 23 -- Dean Foods has set goals of reducing waste throughout its
dairy operations and turning its corporate headquarters into a zero
waste facility. Information about the company´s environmental management
and other initiatives are detailed in its 2010 Corporate Responsibility
Report, which was released this week.
The food company this year said it hired an outside company to collect
and manage solid waste disposal and recycling operations. In 2009, the
company sent 74,000 tons of waste to landfill and will use that figure
as a baseline for comparison in future years. The overall goal for waste
reduction is 30%, the company said, with data being collected for all
For the past three years, the company´s WhiteWave Foods corporate office
in Colorado has been working towards becoming a zero waste facility.
The company now recycles commingled containers, paper and cardboard
while composting organics. In the past two years, the company has
composted 87,700 pounds of material and distributed compost to employees
each spring for use in home gardens.
This is the second year the company has released a corporate responsibility report.
"As we work to transform our business, we are committed to doing it in a
way that is right for us, right for consumers, right for our retail
customers and right for the environment," wrote Gregg L. Engles, CEO and
chairman of the board for Dean Foods.
The report is available here.
Contact Waste & Recycling News reporter Amanda Smith-Teutsch at 330-865-6166 or firstname.lastname@example.org
|Wednesday, November 24, 2010|
|Food Maker Reducing Waste Sent to Landfills|
|Food and consumer products company Sara Lee is making progress in
meeting global sustainability goals, the company said in releasing its
2010 sustainability report.
“Sustainability is a global effort at Sara Lee,” said Audra Karalius,
vice president of sustainability, environment and safety for the Sara
Lee Corp. The company is based in Downers Grove, Ill.
The company has set a goal of reducing waste sent to landfills by 12% between 2005 and 2012.
Six of the company’s global facilities have achieved zero waste to
landfills, and others are making progress in reducing their annual
tonnages sent to landfills as well, the report states. Companywide,
waste sent to landfills has decreased by 32%, the company said.
For example, the Sara Lee coffee plant in Suffolk, Va., achieved zero
waste to landfills in 2009, through a mixture of composting, recycling
and use of waste-to-energy facilities. In Albuquerque, N.M., the bakery
reduced its landfilled waste from 25 metric tons in the first quarter to
12.25 metric tons in the third quarter of 2009 by recycling paper
ingredient bags, cardboard, shrink wrap, bread bags and broken plastic
Also, in Bellevue, Neb., the bakery there recycled 1,360 metric tons of
scrap metal, batteries, food waste, cardboard, pallets and other mixed
waste in 2009.
The company has implemented several environmental management procedures.
For example, workers are encouraged to find ways to minimize waste
by-products in the manufacturing stream and to find ways to recycle the
waste that is generated. Supply packaging is collected and recycled or
returned to suppliers when possible, and water is reused whenever
possible. Mixed waste is sorted and recyclables removed before being
sent to landfills, and efforts are made to reduce air emissions and
Renewable energy also is being used. The company’s coffee factory in
Joure, the Netherlands, uses spent coffee grounds from its manufacturing
process and biogas as main energy sources for the factory’s steam
boiler, reducing natural gas consumption by 40%.
“Sara Lee is committed to promoting wellness and nutrition, supporting
our communities, and protecting our planet,” according to the company’s
To read the 2010 report, and archives of previous reports, visit www.saralee.com/aboutsaralee/sustainability.aspx.
|Lowe’s Expands In-Store Recycling Capabilities|
|In addition to recycling shipping materials including pallets, wraps and
cardboard, Lowe’s home improvement stores in the U.S. are now offering
recycling of hard-to-handle products like mobile phones, rechargeable
batteries and CFL bulbs.
“Lowe’s is always looking for new and better ways to serve our customers
and continue to be responsible stewards of the environment,” said
Michael Chenard, Lowe’s director of environmental affairs. “Recycling is
a simple way to help reduce unnecessary waste in our communities. The
recycling centers make it easier for customers to make a difference, and
we look forward to continuing to partner with them to promote and
support community recycling.”
The recycling centers will be provided at all 1,700 retail stores in the
continental U.S. Customers can drop off any expired, unbroken CFL, any
rechargeable battery up to 11 pounds and all used mobile phones and
plastic shopping bags. Lowe’s stores in Canada also feature CFL
Lowes said the products are responsibly shipped and recycled.
The home improvement chain partnered with Call2Recycle to handle
recycling of rechargeable batteries and mobile phones. Each year since
joining the Call2Recycle program, Lowe’s has increased the volume of
rechargeable batteries it recovers from consumers, with more than
334,000 pounds recycled last year, the company said.
Also, every Lowe’s store in the U.S. offers free appliance recycling to customers when new appliances are purchased.
Beyond consumer recycling, the stores also recycle shipping material.
For the past five years the chain has run a nationwide pallet recycling
program. In 2009, Lowe’s recycled more than 166,000 tons of wood
pallets, along with 147,000 tons of cardboard and nearly 400 tons of
For more on the retail chain’s environmental initiatives visit www.lowes.com/socialresponsibility.
|Starbucks Expands Cup Recycling Project|
|Starbucks Coffee Co. is hoping an expanded pilot project now under way
in New York City eventually leads to the widespread recycling of its
familiar white cups around the country.
The issue is a plastic coating used on the cups.
The new effort — which includes 86 locations in the city — builds upon
an earlier and smaller scale pilot project that involved just seven
locations over an eight-week period last fall.
Now Starbucks and Global Green USA are working with Action Carting
Environmental Services Inc. to gather even more of the
polyethylene-coated cups to see whether then can be mixed with other
recovered fiber and recycled on a larger scale.
“Finding a sustainable solution is a top priority for Starbucks,” said
Jim Hanna, Starbucks director of environmental impact, in an e-mail
“During this pilot, our cups are being transformed into facial and bath
tissue, paper towels and napkins, and other consumer paper products that
contain post-consumer recycled fiber,” he said.
Test results from last year, when the cups were mixed with other
recovered paper and recycled in a university laboratory setting, were
“With the quick run we took I would be very confident to say
post-consumer cups, we’re not going to see anything negative in the OCC
[old corrugated container] stream,” said Joel Kendrick, director of
recycling, paper and coating pilot plants at Western Michigan
University, during a presentation posted on You Tube.
Annie White is director for the Coalition for Resource Recovery, a part
of Global Green USA that’s serving as a third-party technical consultant
on the project.
Increasing the size of the pilot project will allow for the collection
of many more cups that will be tested in a variety of ways for their
recyclability and end uses.
“It helps us build critical mass, get more data,” White said. “We need
to have a certain volume of material to really be able to understand how
it performs in the mill.”
Cups are being collected over a nine-week period that began Sept. 13.
“We hope this test will allow us to better estimate the amount of
material that can be collected from customers in store. Based on earlier
results, we hope to collect several bales of cups for recycling,” Hanna
The amount of material collected last year was small, White said, but
allowed researchers to determine that recycled paper including the cups
performed well during testing.
Expanding the pilot program also helps determine whether individual
stores can provide a clean enough waste stream to allow cups to be taken
directly to paper mills for reuse rather than being sorted at a
materials recovery facility.
“I think the key is to really find ways to figure out existing collection streams and minimize sorting,” White said.
A key to the project is use of a leak proof and recyclable paper bin
liner developed by Duro Bag Manufacturing Co. to collect used cups at
Starbucks locations, CoRR said. This could allow bags to be baled with
CoRR also is interested to see what information from the pilot program
can be used for the bigger picture of recycling all food service
“We’re interested in working with all sorts of restaurants and all sorts
of packaging beyond cups as well to really see and prove this model of
collecting this material,” she said.
“The results of this large-scale pilot have the potential to
institutionalize recycling across the foodservice industry and influence
the redesign of all fiber-based food packaging for recyclability,”
according to CoRR.
Contamination and coatings are two major hurdles that have to be overcome for food service packaging recycling.
“Starbucks has really taken a leadership role and is really forging
ahead, which is wonderful because it’s helping us to understand more
broadly the opportunity for this concept,” White said.
The coffee company also sees the potential to impact recycling beyond
its own operations. “If the pilot is successful, it could make Starbucks
paper cups recyclable more broadly and influence recycling practices
across the foodservice industry,” Hanna said.
“Our overarching recycling goal is that 100% of our cups will be
reusable or recyclable by 2015. By ‘recyclable,’ we mean in form and in
practice — in our stores, in public spaces and at our customers’ homes.
The ‘in practice’ point is an important distinction for Starbucks. We
won’t call our cups recyclable until the local infrastructure is in
place to make it happen,” Hanna said.
And that’s an important point, because recycling capabilities differ
around the country. “Currently, one of the most significant challenges
is the widely discrepant capabilities of local recycling and composting
services,” Hanna said.
|Tuesday, November 2, 2010|
|Tubeless Toilet Paper!|
toilet paper roll is about to undergo its biggest change in 100 years: going
On Monday, Kimberly-Clark, one of the world's biggest
makers of household paper products, will begin testing Scott Naturals Tube-Free
toilet paper at Walmart and Sam's Club stores throughout the Northeast. If
sales take off, it may introduce the line nationally and globally — and
even consider adapting the technology into its paper towel brands.
No, the holes in the rolls aren't perfectly round. But they do fit
over TP spindles and come with this promise: Even the last piece of toilet
paper will be usable — without glue stuck on it.
'Green' product claims are often
FTC revises guidelines for products
claiming to be eco-friendly
Suddenly, there's news in the $9 billion — but stagnant
— toilet paper market. More important, it's got a "green" halo.
The 17 billion toilet paper tubes produced annually in the USA
account for 160 million pounds of trash, according to Kimberly-Clark estimates,
and could stretch more than a million miles placed end-to-end. That's from here
to the moon and back — twice. Most consumers toss, rather than recycle,
used tubes, says Doug Daniels, brand manager at Kimberly-Clark. "We found
a way to bring innovation to a category as mature as bath tissue," he
He won't disclose the tubeless technology used but says it's a
special winding process. A similar process is used on tissue the company sells
to businesses but not to consumers.
Behind the marketing push is a growing consumer demand for
environmentally friendly products.
One environmentalist applauds the move. "It's a positive
example of how companies are seeking creative ways to reduce environmental
impact," says Darby Hoover of the Natural Resources Defense Council.
But more relevant than nixing the tubes would be more recycled content in its
paper, Hoover says. While Scott Naturals normally has 40% recycled content,
this test product does not — but future versions will, Daniels says.
Hoover says she hopes other toilet tissue makers follow Kimberly-Clark's
lead. How soon that may happen is unclear. Procter & Gamble, maker of
top-seller Charmin, declined to comment.
|Thursday, September 23, 2010|
|Kraft Cuts Waste by 30%|
With a stable of powerhouse brands that includes Nabisco, Oreo, Cadbury and Maxwell House, Kraft Foods Inc. said it has cut waste by more than double its previous goal.
And the Northfield, Ill.-based food maker did it two years ahead of schedule.
|Follow the Bouncing Bottle|
Follow Little Bottle around and you'll learn about the earthly benefits of glass recycling - a fully closed-loop process.
The animated, bespectacled character created by Saint-Gobain Containers led hundreds of people on a virtual scavenger hunt that tackles the weighty topics of selecting glass for your food and beverage containers and then the importance of recycling it when you're done.
|Oval Office Rug Fashioned From Eco-Friendly Material|
The new rug adorning the president's Oval Office was made in Michigan from sustainable materials including repurposed wool, according to the company that made the floor covering.
|Tuesday, September 21, 2010|
|Toy Story 3 Landfill Named One of 2010´s Hottest Toys|
Landfills have hit the big time with the toddler crowd.
Toys "R" Us is out with its much-talked-about annual list of hottest toys for the holiday season, and there´s finally something for the landfill-loving youngster.
Move over G.I. Joe. A play set based on the climax of "Toy Story 3" -- where the famous toys are almost incinerated -- is being called one of the best new toys of the upcoming holiday season.
The "Tri-County Landfill" play set from Fisher-Price is an exclusive to Toys "R" Us. "Just like the movie, the toys can be picked up in a giant scoop and then dropped into a sorter before landing on a conveyor belt that leads to an incinerator," a description released by the toy company states.
Check it out at Fisher's Price
|Wednesday, July 14, 2010|
|Hidden Water in Your Products|
By now, most of us are familiar with the usual water-saving tips: don’t leave water running unnecessarily, time your showers, install low-flow shower heads and resist the urge to unnecessarily water the lawn or wash the car.
|Tuesday, July 6, 2010|
|Greenwashing: Avoiding Eco-Hype|
You recycle, ride a bike to work, and buy organic food. You pay extra for "green" electricity and have an eco-friendly car. So can you rest easy, with a clean conscience that your life is as sustainable as it can reasonably be?
Well ... although many of us try our best to minimize environmental impacts, our actions don't always achieve as much as we believe.
|Tuesday, June 22, 2010|
|8 Ways to Green 4th of July|
The Fourth of July is right around the corner! Summer’s hottest
holiday will no doubt call for backyard barbecuing, fireworks and maybe
even a dip in the pool.
Here’s how to throw a little green into your mix of red, white and blue.
|Wednesday, June 16, 2010|
|Earth911’s Gift Guide For Dad|
Still haven’t found the perfect present for Father’s Day? We’ve found seven eco-friendly gifts for all kinds of tastes for all kinds of budgets.
|Tuesday, June 1, 2010|
|Scrap tire stockpiles have been reduced by 87 percent since 1990|
Sixty percent of the rubber consumed in the United States is used to make tires. Raw materials used to make tires include rubber (41 percent), carbon black (28 percent), steel (15 percent) and other materials (16 percent).
In 2008, 290 million new tires were shipped for use by cars and trucks. Of these, 80 percent were for passenger cars and 20 percent were for trucks. In addition, 20 percent were "original equipment" tires and 80 percent replaced used tires. Tire shipments have declined for the last two years.
|Friday, May 21, 2010|
|Groups aim to cut down on litter|
While single-use plastic shopping bags are nearing ubiquity in American retail stores, carryout restaurants and grocers, many local governments and organizations are looking to find ways to keep the bags from becoming litter. Two very different approaches are being examined right now — increase recycling of the bags, or ban their use all together.
“There’s been a tremendous amount of imagery of the Pacific Garbage Patch and impacts on wildlife. Local governments wanted to do something,” said Carol Misseldine, coordinator of Green Cities California. “Local governments wanted to do something.”
The coalition of 10 local governments collects environmental laws, studies and practices from across the state and offers them as sample legislation for other jurisdictions. The group recently issued its Master Environmental Assessment on single-use and reusable bags.
|Wednesday, May 19, 2010|
|8 Ways to Get Back to Nature|
Summer is nearly upon us, and now is the perfect time to start planning your warm weather getaways. No matter where you live, a hidden gem of a mountain to hike, lake to kayak or beach to lounge on likely lies no more than a few hours away.
Even for the most budget-conscious urban dweller, there are many ways to enjoy one's natural surroundings without breaking the bank.
|Tuesday, May 11, 2010|
|Room Air Conditioners 101|
If your current air conditioner is more than eight years old, it's time for a new one. Over the life of the product, the amount you'll save in energy bills will more than likely exceed the cost of the new unit.
Click here for basic criteria to use when choosing a new system
|Wednesday, April 28, 2010|
|The Next Wave in Composting|
No matter where you fall on the “green” spectrum, whether you’re an
avid environmentalist or simply in your initial research phase, it’s
hard to deny that composting is becoming the talk of the town.
Composting is often considered one of the most effective sustainable
activities, essentially creating a “recycling” system for food scraps
and yard waste in your own backyard.
|Wednesday, April 7, 2010|
|Students respond well to social-media driven recycling|
College students living in campus dorms respond well to recycling campaigns that include social media, researchers in North Carolina found.The study was conducted at the University of North Carolina Charlotte by the university´s Waste Reduction Office, the NCDNR Division of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Assistance and Mecklenburg County Land Use and Environmental Services Solid Waste Division.
Over a four week period, researchers tracked students at three dormitories while conducting a recycling awareness campaign that included social media platforms Twitter, Facebook and Youtube pages. The study was aimed at increasing recycling rates and creating positive attitudes towards recycling, according to the university.
Periodic reminders might be the key to getting college students to recycle more, the authors of the report wrote. "The majority felt they possessed sufficient recycling knowledge and just forget to do it," the report states. Students were surveyed before and after the program to determine attitudes toward recycling.
Most students said they didn´t recycle due to "Not thinking about it" or inconvenience of drop off bins. Students at Cedar and Hickory residence halls on the UNC-Charlotte campus increased their recycling habits significantly during the study, the authors report. Cedar students increased their recycling from 51 pounds of bottles, cans and paper to 129 pounds. Students in Hickory increased their collections from 46 pounds to 106. The largest recycling hall, Sycamore, decreased from 113 pounds to 108 pounds during the study.
Bottles were the most-recycled material on campus, with paper coming in second.
|Thursday, April 1, 2010|
|6 Busted Eco Myths|
Now that April (aka Earth Month), is in full swing, it's the perfect time to get moving with your eco-fabulous resolutions.
But the prospect of where to begin can be daunting, especially when you factor in the myths floating around about reasons not to shift your behavior towards that which is more eco-conscious. So enjoy Earth Month to its fullest and don't be fooled by these six eco-myths.
|Thursday, March 25, 2010|
|8 Ways to Go Green in Spring|
There’s nothing we love more than great weather, sunlight and the perfect excuse to get back to nature.
We won’t bore you with those expected metaphors of spring and new
beginnings. Instead, we’ve made a detailed of list of simple changes
you can make this month that not only reduce your impact, but can also
actually save you money.
|Thursday, March 18, 2010|
|Why People Don’t Recycle|
A lot of people just don’t recycle. While there may be a temptation
to imagine them as conspiring Earth Haters who take orders directly
from Skeletor, they are usually normal people who try to contribute
positively to society in other ways.
They are members of our family, our neighbors and our friends. So what makes them choose to bypass the blue bin?
|Thursday, March 11, 2010|
|Inside Plastic Bans|
San Francisco made history when it became the first city to
officially ban plastic shopping bags in 2007, making it a pioneer of a
rapidly growing trend – the outlawing of common to-go plastic products,
such as bags and foam polystyrene containers.
In many cases, the main objective when passing these types of bans or fees is to ultimately reduce the amount of litter.
|Thursday, March 4, 2010|
|Greener Gadgets You’ll Love|
The Greener Gadgets event in New York City was a stark contrast to its Las Vegas counterpart, the Consumer Electronics Show. The venue was vastly smaller, the visual appeal was significantly absent, and the huge techie crowd was lacking (but we'll blame that on the snowstorm).
But there was one compelling dissimilarity about Greener Gadgets, and it was perhaps the reason we made the cross-country trip: undiscovered ingenuity.
|Thursday, February 25, 2010|
|Where Should the Unused Meds Go?|
Photos go to relatives and the knickknacks might go to a garage sale, but who wants to deal with the array of unused pills when grandma passes away?
Manufacturers are offering discounts, as well as Wal-Mart, on medications.
Some politicians do.
In the last year, state legislators across the country have proposed bills aimed at curbing the disposal of unused medication.
|Tuesday, February 16, 2010|
|Fun Crafts With Used Plastic|
Every now and then we like to take a break from the big news headlines and explore the creative world. We know you love crafts, perhaps almost as much as you love recycling.
We tried to think of an abundant resource that you regularly toss, and plastic was the first thing to come to mind. While we highly tout recycling all types of resins, we also love getting our hands dirty and making really cool stuff out of those bags under the sink or those bottles in the fridge.
|Wednesday, February 10, 2010|
There’s old tech gear under beds and in boxes all over my house. I know better than to throw all that e-waste in the trash, where it would eventually pollute the planet. And I also know that when it comes to tech disposal, time is of the essence. My cast-off cell phone or laptop could help someone less fortunate and even net a little cash too−but only if I act reasonably quickly. Any yet despite all this knowledge, my digital detritus piles up.
This year, though, my daughter’s fifth grade class wants to raise money to make their soon-to-be built school building “green.” Finally, the push I needed− clearing out my tech clutter could help me support Ava’s well-intentioned fundraising.
First stop: Gazelle. Since 2008, this socially conscious company has been helping people collect money for unwanted tech gear, guaranteeing to sell it for reuse or recycle it responsibility. Enter the particulars about your ex-gear and a cash bid pops up on-screen. If you like the figure, download a free shipping label, drop the item in the mail and wait for your check. Simple! Recently, Gazelle launched a service called Gazelle for Good that allows individuals or organizations to fundraise online with what they call a Gadget Drive.
So I went to gazelleforgood.com. It took maybe 10 minutes to create a customized donation page for my daughter’s school. The site works just like Gazelle except it also announces our cash goal and displays a thermometer that shows our progress. We can promote our cause with just a few keystrokes by e-mailing links to our homepage and printing flyers to post on bulletin boards.
That ancient desktop my son, Cole (now 13), used in first grade will net only about $6, but Gazelle will pay for the shopping and keep the parts out of the landfill. The digital camera I haven’t touched since I upgraded will snag $43, Cole’s old cell phone $24 and my old Palm PDA $83. While I’m shipping all this off, I’ll throw some old orphaned cables and broken keyboards. As long as I’m selling some of value, Gazelle will recycle everything.
It might be hard to write a check in this economy, but it sure is easy (not to mention satisfying!) to ship all this stuff that was just taking up space.
By Christina Tynan - Wood of Family Circle Magazine, March 2010 Edition
|Wow, You Can Recycle That?|
A few weeks ago, Earth911 investigated some of the lesser known recyclables. Sure, they don't receive as much media attention as some of their co-stars like the plastic bottle or the aluminum can, but your massive response to "I Didn't Know That Was Recyclable!" proved that there is an outcry to dispose of those odd items.
From paint and batteries to wine corks and hair (really!), a little patience (and a search on Earth911.com) can make recycling these items a little easier. The list of qualified recycling candidates was long, so we figured we would feature a few more.
|Wednesday, February 3, 2010|
|New Orleans trash entrepreneur subject of reality show|
A New Orleans garbage man is the subject of a new reality show appearing on TLC next week.
Sidney Torres started his SDT Waste and Debris after Hurricane Katrina
struck the city and now operates more than 150 trucks and has 180
An hour-long pilot of the show featuring his company, "Trashmen," is
scheduled to air at 10 p.m. Eastern and Pacific time on Feb. 11.
The show will feature Torres and his company’s efforts to clean up
during a particularly busy weekend that featured Halloween weekend
festivities, the Voo Doo Fest annual outdoor concert, and after a
Monday Night Football game featuring the New Orleans Saints.
Ratings for "Trashmen" will determine whether the show is picked up for additional episodes, Torres said.
|Tuesday, February 2, 2010|
|DEP Tests Show Prescription Drugs Leaching From Landfills|
The Maine Department of Environmental Protection says it now has enough evidence to prove that unwanted prescription drugs being tossed into local landfills pose a threat to surface and groundwater supplies around the state. New test results of leachate at three Maine landfills show high concentrations of a wide range of pharmaceuticals. And the findings are likely to boost support for a bill to require drug companies to collect and dispose of unused medication.
|Wednesday, January 27, 2010|
|10-Minute Green Home Makeovers|
We know it's not spring yet, and you're still donning that oversize wool coat and chunky scarf. But we admit that we are still in a post-holiday funk and are in serious need of some organization and motivation.
So we took a room-by-room tour around our own homes to find the solutions the your biggest clutter conundrums, disposal dilemmas and decorating difficulties.
|Wednesday, January 20, 2010|
|How to Compost Outside the Home|
Let's say you want to recycle organic waste but have no interest in starting a compost pile in the backyard. There's an app for that, an environmental application known as commercial composting.
Chances are you've contributed to commercial compost in the past without even realizing it. Common applications of compost include curbside green waste collection programs and Christmas tree mulching.
|Wednesday, January 13, 2010|
Why does it all even matter? We’ve all been there for the probing questions that follow habitual green activities or beliefs. While you know why you do it, it may be hard to articulate when you’re “under the gun,” so to speak.
Whether it’s lack of information, or just a twisted tongue, we’ve
got your stock replies ready for those pesky environmental questions.
|Friday, January 8, 2010|
|Adventures in composting|
Larraine Roulston writes children’s books and once volunteered with a puppet show.
But make no mistake, she is quite serious about the topic of composting.
just that Roulston uses children’s literature to promote what she said
she believes is an important aspect of waste management.
Havelock, Ontario, resident is currently working on her fifth
children’s book about composting and has spent the last 20 years
trumpeting the cause.
|Wednesday, January 6, 2010|
|Clean Up Your Holidays|
Get out the packing boxes and old newspaper - it's time to clean up your holidays!
What a whirlwind season it's been. With everything that happened in 2009, 2010 is sure to be another monumental year for all things green.